Symrise Releases Consumer Sweetness Preference Study

There is a diverse consumer preference on the ideal level of sweetness. Photo: Symrise.
There is a diverse consumer preference on the ideal level of sweetness. Photo: Symrise.

Symrise has debuted its findings on consumption behaviors focused on revealing the diversity of sensorial preferences.

Related: New Research Explores Better-For-You Product Trends

This refers to a study on sweet taste perception in Europe, Africa and the Middle East that Symrise has recently carried out. It has found that multiple routes exist to reduce the sugar level, while at the same time meeting taste preferences:

  • Route #1: Tastes as sweet as the full sugar version and 33% of respondents prefer it.

  • Route #2: Tastes similar and less sweet and 20% of consumers prefer this route.

  • Route #3: The third group of about 22% behaves more adventurous. They are looking for a new, unique flavor composition and accept a difference in taste compared to the full-sugar version.

Ideal sweetness for soft drinks

With a further study on the "Ideal Level of Sweetness" in 2019 for Cola carbonated soft drinks in Germany, Symrise determined the optimal sweetness level with different sugar contents from 106 g/l to 75 g/l sugar.

The study re-confirmed the findings and also revealed that consumers perceive a sample with 75 g/l as lacking in sweetness.

Symrise conducted a second study and tried to increase the consumer liking of sugar-reduced products by applying Symrise taste balancing solutions with Symlife. The team succeeded in increasing the overall liking of sugar reduced cola versions of 85g/l and 75g/l by adding the taste solution of Symrise.

Ideal match for sweet goods

In sweet baked goods, consumers desire a guilt-free and highly indulgent experience. Symrise experts for sweets and baked goods have extended the portfolio with a new natural Symlife taste solution "Sweet Optimizer Baking MFC” to meet that demand.

The compound uses flavor and bulk ingredients and particularly focuses on sweet baked goods to meet the multiple challenges of sugar reduction. The compound allows manufacturers to reduce up to 50% sugar and works like a 1:1 replacement while keeping the preferred taste, appeal and texture.

The dairy health trend

The Symrise studies have also revealed that, especially with dairy products, consumers want to reduce their sugar intake and feel healthier. They are looking for less sweet and also rich taste experiences. As a result, the no added sugar claim trend in dairy has been growing.

For food manufacturers that want to meet the target of a 1:1 replacement, Symlife offers taste balancing solutions for a 25% or even 50% sugar reduction. 

Taste expertise on all levels

Food and drink manufacturers have started to reformulate their products and have to meet the challenge to maintain the taste experience consumers love.

Next to the Symlife portfolio, Symrise offers regulatory guidance, sensory methods and analytics to ensure that all solutions are meeting latest regulatory standards without any compromise on experiencing indulgence.

A sugar-reduced product can fulfill consumers’ desire for healthy food and drink in many different ways, from 1:1 replacements to completely new taste experiences. 

Lisa Wulf, marketing manager category confectionary, said, “At the same time, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their choices in the confectionary segment. The reduction of sugar in confectionery products affects the entire level of richness and mouthfeel, like in a chocolate bar. Our confectionery customers ask us to support this demand of healthier products with a highest level of superior experience and pleasure. That’s why we have developed Symlife solutions, to overcome the compromises on the indulgence level."

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